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Muscle Balancing(9 posts)

Muscle BalancingJon
Nov 12, 2001 8:19 AM
If one is doing squats and dead lifts as the primary lower body strengtheners, do any specific
exercises for hamstrings need to be added in, or do the squats and hamstrings exercise
quads and hamstrings in proper proportions? Peleton? Morey?
re: Muscle Balancingbrider
Nov 12, 2001 8:55 AM
The deadlifts (conventional bent-leg deadlift) primarily work the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, spinal erectors, traps). The squats (conventional back squats) are going to have some overlap, but will not work the hamstrings. For a good balance, you could do front squats for more concentration on the quads and less on the spinal erectors, then follow that with stiff-legged deadlifts to work the hamstrings and back.
re: Muscle Balancingmorey
Nov 12, 2001 9:44 AM
Hamstrings are one of the most overlooked groups. That said, you can stiff-leg deadlifts light weight, reps in 12-15 range. Do about 2 sets. Leg Curls if you have a machine 3 sets of 12 reps. Lunges 2 x 20 each leg.
re: Muscle Balancingcioccman
Nov 12, 2001 9:54 AM
To do my hammys I get on the machines. My lower body workout includedes, in addition to squats and lunges and in addition to plate loaded calf machines, I do leg presses on the free weight machine. I also do plate loaded leg extensions and prone leg curls. The prone leg curls seem to be especially good at targeting my hammys.
re: Muscle Balancingpeloton
Nov 12, 2001 10:16 AM
A large percentage of the population has an imbalance between their hamstrings and quads, with the quads being the stronger of the two. I would include some specific exercises to target the hamstrings for this reason. Leg curls and stiff legged deadlifts are great for this. A lot of our day to day activities contribute to this imbalance, even sitting in a chair so it's good to give your hamstrings a little something more when working out to combat this.
re: Muscle BalancingJon
Nov 12, 2001 1:03 PM
Thanks. That's what I wanted to know. BTW, my understanding is that the hamstrings should
have about 2/3 the strength of the quads. Is that correct?
re: Muscle Balancingpeloton
Nov 12, 2001 3:04 PM
Sounds about right. I just try to make them as equal as I can for my efforts. Your alpine skiing won't help either with the way the quads hypertrophy from that activity. I saw a guy who races NORBA expert MTB have his quads increase in strength be 150% one ski season, while his hamstrings didn't grow nearly as much. I think hamstring balance becomes more important with that activity as well.
re: Muscle BalancingJon
Nov 12, 2001 3:15 PM
Gee thanks, P! However, hypertrophy , fortunately or unfortunately, is not in my body's genetic
vocabulary. Since I'm joining the ranks of the aged, though, maintaining functional balance
is pretty important to me. There must be a good reason why I just hate straight-legged deadlifts!
re: Muscle Balancingmorey
Nov 13, 2001 4:06 AM
If you have a long torso and shorter legs your hamstrings will really get a workout with stiff-leg deadlifts. I hate them because I am this way, they really make my hams sore!